Monday, April 23, 2018

New York’s new law: Police recording duty for certain custodial interrogations

Effective this month, the law in New York State on police recording of certain custodial interrogations has changed.

The new law amends the Criminal Procedure Law creates a recording obligation in certain highly serious felonies, including many Class A-1 offenses, A-2 sex offenses, and B violent homicide and sex offenses.

Under the statute, the recording has to begin with "custody" at a police station or other detention facility (or at same time police must give the person Miranda warnings).

There are ten "good cause" exceptions for non-recording listed in the law. They include malfunctioning equipment, booking questions and "inadvertent error or oversight.”

If police improperly fail to record an interrogation and cannot show "good cause," the statute permits the defense to obtain a jury charge at trial. However, there is no suppression remedy for police failure to comply with the recording obligation. Instead, the law provides that a failure to obey the recording rule can be a "factor" bearing on admissibility, though not the "sole factor."

For more on the new law, click here.